People: Mills & Reeve poaches Bond Dickinson IP partner; Financial planning firm boosts team; and more

LAW firm Mills & Reeve has welcomed intellectual property specialist and ex-scientist Mark Pearce to its Leeds office as it pushes ahead with its expansion plans.

The Leeds office has significantly expanded its commercial offering recently with the launch of its corporate team headed by former Irwin Mitchell partner Paul Johnson, plus partner Simon Pedley leading its move into commercial disputes. It has also boosted the private client offering with the arrival of partner Andrew Playle from Bond Dickinson.

Mr Pearce, who also joins from Bond Dickinson as a partner, will be responsible for growing the firm’s national practice with Alasdair Poore, head of IP, and Claire O’Brien, head of IP litigation. He will also focus on an intellectual property practice in Leeds and across the North alongside Paul Johnson and assist principal associate Paul Knight in growing technology sector work across Manchester, Leeds and the North of England.

He began his career as a physicist before training as a solicitor with Bristows, the specialist IP firm, and advises on all aspects of IP law and his client portfolio includes technology-based university spin-outs.

Mr Poore, head of IP, said: “Mark gives us a great opportunity to grow our national intellectual property practice by building a team in Leeds. His background and expertise makes him a perfect fit for Mills & Reeve.”


Mitch Burke with Joy Clegg, managing director of BHP Financial Planning.BHP Financial Planning has expanded its team with the appointment of Mitch Burke.

Mr Burke joins the team as a financial planner based in the Cleckheaton office and brings over 10 years of industry experience to his new role.

He said: “I have joined BHP because as a chartered firm of financial planners within an accountancy practice I believe we can offer inclusive financial and tax advice to our clients within the one organisation. The company is well established within Yorkshire with a large client base which is continually growing, making this an inviting opportunity.”

BHP Financial Planning is headed up by managing director Joy Clegg, who said: “Mitch is both highly qualified and has the experience needed to assist our private clients with all of their personal finance needs. He will no doubt be an asset to our team, which is continually expanding in response to high levels of demand for our services.”


PATENT and trade mark attorneys Appleyard Lees has started 2017 with a number of internal promotions that will form a key part of the firm’s continued growth and staff development programme.

James Myatt and Christopher Mason have been promoted from patent attorney to associate in recognition of their contribution to the firm’s growth and their expertise in the chemistry and pharmaceutical sectors.

Appleyard Lees managing director Joanne King said: “We are delighted to announce James and Chris’s promotions at the start of what we anticipate will be a very exciting year for our business.”  


IT managed services provider Redcentric has appointed Jon Kempster to the board as non-executive director.

Mr Kempster was until recently the chief financial officer at Utilitywise, an AIM listed energy consultancy, and is currently a non-executive director of JVM Group, a private company selling construction equipment in Russia.

Prior to these two roles, Mr Kempster was chief financial officer to Wincanton, the logistics and distribution group, from 2010 to 2012. 

Chris Cole, chairman of Harrogate-based Redcentric, said: “I look forward to welcoming Jon to the board of Redcentric.  He brings with him complementary skills and experiences and I am sure he will make a valuable contribution as we take Redcentric forward.”